Co-working trend gets $14M addition

The Denver Enterprise Center building will be converted into a co-working space. Photos by Burl Rolett.

The Denver Enterprise Center building at 003 Arapahoe St. will be converted into a co-working space. Photos by Burl Rolett.

A Denver real estate firm is jumping on the shared office space rush and reviving a former business incubator property.

Focus Property Group has started demolition on a $14 million rehab that will turn the former Denver Enterprise Center into 66,000 square feet of co-working and traditional office space.

And Focus will move its own operations into the Enterprise project.

“We don’t need our own conference room,” said Josh Fine, a VP with Focus. “We’ll just share our conference room with everybody else.”

Plans call for two floors for co-working and a top floor with 15,000 square feet of dedicated offices.

“We want to be able to accommodate the entire life cycle of businesses,” Fine said. “From the single individual freelancer who has an idea to a company that might have 100 employees.”

Focus plans to demolish a small cafeteria, reducing the size of the 75,000-square-foot Enterprise building by about 9,000 square feet.

Fine said the company plans to charge $500 per month for a desk at the co-working space, which is slated to open near the beginning of 2016. Small enclosed offices will range from $1,000 to $2,000 per month.

The former Enterprise Center was a nonprofit business incubator before closing in February 2008. Focus Property Group bought the shuttered building last year.

Enterprise will be the first co-working development for Focus Property Group. It’s entering the co-working industry as several other companies in Denver open new shared office concepts or add additional locations to existing brands.

Thrive Workspace is opening a 24,000-square-foot location at 1415 Park Ave. in the ballpark neighborhood next month. Modworks recently announced a 3,000-square-foot expansion of its own downtown. Shift Workspaces has plans for new locations, and Galvanize’s second Denver outpost is under construction.

A local law firm is getting into the game just three blocks away with plans for a shared office space aimed at fellow attorneys at the Laundry on Lawrence building. And a medical-focused office share concept is in the works over on Brighton Boulevard.

Fine said there is plenty more demand for co-working space.

“A few years from now, we will look back and that question will sound like ‘there are a lot of office buildings in Denver, why are you building more offices?’” he said. “It’s really the future of office space, is shared, collaborative work spaces.”

Design and build firm Tres Birds will be the architect and general contractor on the Enterprise project. Fine said the company has yet to finalize an agreement with a bank for financing.

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